July 3, 2013 by Jerry Alatalo
A vision quest is not about trying to see some kind of “supernatural” event such as a spirit or ghost. The man or woman is spending time communicating with the One Source, the Creator. Bear Heart thought that “The survival of our society depends on people who have a good connection with the spiritual. That’s our salvation, and without it our society deteriorates into politics and greed. We see it almost daily.”
He pointed out that there is a difference between being truly spiritual and being a member of a church.
“Finding yourself, looking within, is the most important thing in life. ‘This is where I stand. This is who I am.’ When you know that, you can tackle any circumstance that comes along.”
Bear Heart recalled someone saying to him, “I wish I had the same amount of spirit that you have.” He replied , “We were all given the same amount of spirit. None more, none less. The difference between individuals is allowing the Spirit to have more of you.” Many of us think we have yielded to the spirit, but are still holding back in certain ways.
“There is a path for each of us to follow-that is what life is all about. Many people say to me, ‘I’d like to learn your ways.’ That’s okay with me, but I would rather have people learn their own way, and equally important is how they use what they learn.”
He talked about achieving whatever we wanted in life. He said it is possible, even though it may not be easy. If the goal is one which is worthwhile it keeps us moving forward. He gives the example of Abraham Lincoln, who suffered many political defeats before he was elected president. He was told that he was ugly, that he looked like an ape. Lincoln overlooked the unkind comments, persevered and reached a high office. Other examples are those blind poets and deaf composers who found they had something inside which told them they could do it.
Many times the achievement will not come immediately, but persistence wins out.
We too often look at others’ success and wonder what it would be like to be this or that person. We wish we were someone else. So what if someone else does something a little better? Be happy for them, but don’t let that stop you from being the best that you can be. Maybe you are better at some things than that person, so it all balances out.
Bear Heart noted that “You have it within you to become good at anything that you strive for. The thing is, never give up, accept what you are and be proud of it, be grateful for it. But never let it go to your head, always strive to keep your feet on the ground.”
“Each one of us has something to offer in this life, every one of us. We are here to reflect the beauty of all of life-the beauty of the trees, the grass, the animals, the birds, the rivers as they flow by. All these may be lost in time. While we are still here, can we not appreciate and love the land, the environment, so that when we pass on, we will have left something solid and beautiful for those who are going to follow after us?”
“The word memorial does not indicate that someone has died. It symbolizes that someone has lived. What is going to be that living memorial that you’re going to leave behind? That I’m going to leave behind? Why are we here now? We’re here to add something, to construct, to preserve. To leave something good for those little ones who are going to come into our world. Let that motivation be so firmly established in your heart and mind that you can say, I will stand for this. I will live for this.”